Jacob Ohl's Train Tragedy
He was hit by a train. Both his legs from the knee down were severed completely. The rest of his body and his mind appear to be to be completely unharmed.
Jacob underwent surgery yesterday to clean his wounds and will finish the amputation today. They have kept Jacob sedated since arriving at the hospital yesterday afternoon. Jacob was able to call 911 just after the incident and was able to talk to the paramedics and give them my name and phone number.
They will wake Jacob after today’s surgery and we may be able to gather more information about Jacob.
Jacob is a thriving senior in high school at Brookwood High School. He has been accepted to attend college this fall and is an A student in honors classes. He is first chair in the school orchestra playing the stand-up bass and is also the bass player for the school’s amazing jazz band. Jacob has two brothers and an extended family that loves and admires him for his genuine, peaceful spirit, his old-soul wisdom and his compassion. He also just accepted a working position for a local landscape company as an office assistant where he was succeeding and seemed to be really enjoying his new job.
Our family is reeling from this tragedy, but at the same time, we are so happy and feel so lucky that he is alive.
Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and prayers. GIANT special thank you to the first responders in Lilburn and the amazing team at Gwinnett Medical Center who saved his life. Thank you to God for the gift of life and the opportunity for Jacob to be here with us today.
We all feel lost in the overwhelming helplessness of this crazy situation. Our chosen family of friends and our immediate family are mobilizing to retrofit our home, donate time and materials and provide food and love as needed. We have also set up a go-fund me account for anyone who would like to share their love in that way. The Go fund link is :
Jacob loves to read books, play any instrument, listen to music (especially jazz) and eats healthy foods like pizza. ~ Fern Cook (Jacob's Hero of a Mother)
Our family actively works everyday. We work to support ourselves, we work to support each other, we work to keep negativity at bay and focus on what we can do to stay positive and live our best lives.
The recent train incident derailed all of this good work. We slid off the tracks into a scary, unknown place where fearful tasks, decisions and realities were around every corner.
The decision to sue CSX was not one made lightly.
We have already begun the lifelong fights with the insurance company. They paid Jacob's hospital bills, but have since denied paying for a wheelchair and new, custom prosthetics that actually fit Jacob.
We have spent over 10k of our own money relocating and modifying a home for Jacob to live in.
The GoFundMe has paid for the deductible medical bills, the denied wheelchair, and will likely pay for the denied custom prosthetics this week. We feel so grateful to have it as a resource. But it will be gone soon at this rate.
CSX has safety measures in place that keep injuries like Jacob's from happening. Two conductors are supposed to be watching all the time like any driver and blow the whistle if they see someone on the tracks. Especially when passing a city park. No one expects that the train could stop in time, but screeching brakes would have helped to alert Jacob as well.
Jacob began his walk on a city park walking trail. During his walk the designated walking trail ran adjacent to the tracks where Jacob walked over no barriers or warning signs to get into the tracks. People walk on those tracks all the time in that park.
Jacob has taken personal responsibility since day one for his actions and their consequences. I am the one who questions whether there should be a clear barrier to entry between a designated walking trail and a train track. Or at least some public service kind of training for young kids about train tracks.
I did it many many times as a kid even walking over the train trestle bridge without any thought of harm. I would never have walked down a highway. I knew better.
I also wish everyday that the conductors had looked up just in time to blow that whistle and screech their brakes.
We are not gold-diggers. If you know us, you know that. Just hoping to fund Jacob's necessities for his hopefully long and active life. And to start and fund a train safety education program for elementary schools.
As always, we are so grateful for all the support over the last months and are incredibly grateful that Jacob survived and is thriving.
In a flurry of quick decisions, Jacob was released from the hospital to come home on Thursday afternoon! Both legs are healing well and he is mostly pain free except for the phantom pains. They sent him home with only one non-narcotic prescription for those phantom pains and only minimal instructions for wound care.
Once a week, he will visit the physical therapists and prosthetics teams to work towards his new mobility. For now, the borrowed wheelchair is working great.
He is elated to be sleeping in his own bed, eating home-cooked food, playing his own games and instruments and living at his Dad's house.
I feel like I just climbed off the tallest, craziest, scariest roller coaster ever. Dizzy with all of the emotions.
Again I am overcome with gratitude. Hundreds of you offered your love and prayers and food and support and money and even physical labor. We would not be here today without you.
Thank you to the teams at the hospital, to our loving families and our dear friends. My faith in humanity, respect for community and honor of friendship has grown exponentially. ❤
With HUGE love from all of this tribe,
Fern, Jacob, Thomas, Suzi, Jason and Jim
Jacob's surgery seems to have gone well on Friday. The recovery pain was intense, but they were able to close his right knee wound with his own skin. The next week will tell the rest of the story.
Jacob started online classes today and hopes to graduate by the end of the summer. Back to work!
We delivered a race car of a wheel chair borrowed from a kind donor who makes wheel chairs for athletes. There is a learning curve, but Jacob has begun rehab to rebuild his muscles and relearn his center of gravity.
Still uncertain as to when he will come home and whether or not CHOA will have him go to their live-in rehab, but progress is being made every day.
After this visit to the hospital on Sunday, I was able to take a deep breath and relax for the first time. With a little luck, the seemingly never-ending support of our tribe and all of your incredible positive energy, I think we will soon be carrying out our New Normal lives.
With faith, hope and friendship,
so sorry to hear of this accident. The same thing happened here in Niagara Falls to a boy named Steve when he was in gr 6. Lost both legs trying to jump a stopped train . It began to move . Sadly for Steve, it cost him both legs. Keep your chin up! Things will be ok
I wanted to tell you about a friend of mine who will be rolling all the way across America this year in his wheelchair. His name is Mark Daniel. He's on facebook. It may be a good motivation to follow him along as you get used to your new means of getting around. He's a really cool guy. Wish you a quick recovery from the pain. Please be cautious of the types of pain medication that you take. Many prescription pain killers are highly addictive and that could really impact you in a bad way when you really need to stay healthy and strong right now. Wishing you and your family well... -Brett
I wish you a speedy recovery. I pray that you & your family make it through this horrible ordeal. I hope you're able to go home with your family ASAP & i pray your rehabilitation goes well & just know you''ll make it through this. Just be strong. Also I learned something that could save my life one day from this, that I shouldn't walk on train tracks when listening to music on headphones, as I sometimes walk to the corner store via the tracks while listening to my music. I will make sure I don't do that anymore. It may save my life one day. It's a real shame & tragedy it had to happen to somebody for someone to realize what I am doing & to change my habits to prevent another tragedy like this one. I just want to thank you for making me realize that I was doing something very dangerous often without really thinking about what if a train came & i didn't hear it or feel its vibration on the tracks as I walked. God bless you & take care of yourself.
Sweet Darlin', I sent as much as I could, but you've been receiving billions worth in my highest thoughts to you. I have stated openly online, YOU ARE A WARRIOR, and I know you will do great things. I trust this 100%. There are those of us who have been 'kept here' for a reason - I'm almost 80, and I know this for a fact! You are one too, and I, of course, know others as well. Treasure your specialness, honey. When all is said and done, you will marvel at all the miracles in your life and others will marvel at you! Your life is in front of you in the most significant way - you'll see. I do love you - from one special person to another special person. ♥ Sincerely, Kaye A. Peters
My love and prayers will continue for Jason, you, and your family at this difficult time.